High Court Rejects Church Appeal Over Use of Public School

WASHINGTON (AP) -

The Supreme Court has again rejected an appeal from a small church in the Bronx seeking to overturn New York City’s ban on after-hours religious worship services at public schools.

The justices did not comment Monday in siding with the city’s Department of Education in a long-running fight over the separation of church and state in the nation’s largest public school system.

The Bronx Household of Faith held Sunday services at P.S. 15 for 12 years, until last summer when the church completed its own building near the school. But the church said it still needs extra space for events that include religious services.

The Supreme Court has twice before rejected the church’s appeal in a lawsuit spanning 18 years.

The city said it risked blurring church-state separation if it allowed worship services in public schools, although Mayor Bill de Blasio has been more supportive of allowing faith organizations to use the city’s schools than was his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg.

About 60 groups, many of them Jewish, had been allowed to worship in public buildings.